Alzheimer s disease (DOC) by Romanoloka

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									Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible and progressive disease of
the brain that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and
eventually, to the ability to perform simple tasks. In most of
those affected with the disease, symptoms first appear after age
60.
Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia in the
elderly. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning, is,
thinking, remembering and reasoning, to a degree that interferes
with daily life and activities of a person. The calculated figures
vary, but experts suggest that the number of people suffering
from this disease can be as high as 5.1 million Americans.
The disease is named after Dr. Aloes Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr.
Alzheimer noticed changes in brain tissue of a woman who had
died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included
memory loss, language problems and unpredictable behavior.
After she died, Dr. Alzheimer examined her brain and found
several lumps (now called myeloid plaques) and twisted bundles
of fibers (now called neurofibrillary tangles).
The plaques and tangles in the brain are two of the main features
of this disease. The third characteristic is the loss of connections
between nerve cells (neurons) and the brain.Changes in the brain
in Alzheimer's disease Although we do not know what initiates
the process of Alzheimer's disease, we know that brain damage
begins from 10 to 20 years before a problem becomes evident.
The balls begin to develop in the deep part of the brain in an
area called the endocrinal cortex, and the plates are formed in
other areas. As more and more are forming plaques and tangles
in particular brain areas, healthy neurons begin to function less
effectively. Then they lose their ability to function and
communicate, and eventually die. This damaging process
spreads to a nearby structure called the hippocampus, which is
essential in memory formation.
As you increase the death of neurons affected brain regions
begin to shrink. When approaching the final stage of the disease,
the damage has spread widely and brain tissues have shrunk
considerably.

								
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